The Tasman District Council has declined the Government’s offer of a loan of up to $20 million for the development of Golden Bay’s Port Tarakohe. 

Mayor Tim King said the current funding options placed too much risk with the Council for it to be willing to proceed. 

“We appreciate the Crown’s offer, but ultimately a loan has to be repaid. It is disappointing we won’t be able to invest in this proposal for Port Tarakohe but the upgrade isn’t financially viable under the current funding model. 

“I appreciate all the time and effort that has gone in up until this point by our stakeholders and partners.” 

Tim said the port was an important strategic and community asset for Golden Bay and the Council would continue to work with stakeholders on the future operations of the port and options for staged redevelopment. 

In August 2019, following a two-step consultation process that demonstrated support from stakeholders, the Council agreed to seek a $22 million grant from the Provincial Growth Fund towards a major port upgrade. 

“While the offer of a concessional commercial loan was appreciated it proved insufficient to get the proposal over the line." 

The upgrade was proposed to cater for increased mussel production to move through the port as a result of projected growth in the industry, as well as improve recreational facilities and protection for little blue penguin nesting areas. 

“In light of the considerable economic potential of marine farming, it is disappointing the Council is not able to proceed with the port upgrade at this time. However, the proposal was reliant on government funding as a grant, alongside contributions from ratepayers and industry, to make it viable.”